Ask Foghorn: Where Have All The SCARs Gone?

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Reader Nick writes:

Assuming that your FNH 3 Gun Team is a marketing tool for FNH to highlight their products, you might tell them they ought to disband the team – many of those products are unobtanium. No use spending sponsorship money when there’s nothing to sell. I’ve had a SCAR 16 on order at three separate distributors for 6 months now and none of them have any idea when they’ll be blessed with one from FNH. I’ll give it another couple of months and then I’ll just give up and move on to another platform.

The implied question — what’s with the SCAR shortage? And the answer is one that lets us blame our favorite scapegoat: the U.S. Government . . .

Anyone who is lucky enough to have a SCAR laying around nearby, take a look at the side of the receiver. It clearly says “FNH USA, Fredericksburg, Virginia.” That’s the ATF-required marking indicating the location of manufacture and the name of the company that made it.

But while the gun may legally have been manufactured in Virginia, the receivers actually start their life at the FNH manufacturing facility in Belgium. From there, they’re shipped over here, finding their way to Virginia for the finishing touches and final assembly. So while they may be “made” in Virginia, they depend heavily on a smooth importation process from Belgium.

That final machining in Virginia, by the way, lets them skirt the 922(r) restrictions that so many other imported guns come with.

Unfortunately, that import process has been held up for quite some time. FNH USA has a massive shipment of SCAR 16 and 17 receivers that have been held up in customs, ready to be assembled. That’s a tidal wave of SCARs that’s being held back by government bureaucracy.

The good news is that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. Importation takes a long time (relatively speaking), but the shipment will eventually go through. And then the SCARs will flow like fine champagne.

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comments

  1. avatar J says:

    …And how much for one of these 16’ss or 17’s?…

    1. avatar Cort says:

      utahgunexchange.com shows an average of $2,800. If a ton of them flow in, however, it’ll probably impact the price in a consumer-friendly way.

      1. avatar Michael Carroll says:

        With the way things are, I seriously doubt it and don’t use the supply and demand thing. These days most of that has been thrown out the door, the excuse will be they won’t know how long till they get more soooo the rices will remain high.

        1. avatar Peter Lance says:

          With respect, supply and demand has not been thrown out the door. Prices are high because the demand curve has shifted right faster than the supply curve, and so prices rose. That is economics 101 and exactly what has happened in the last 6 months.

  2. avatar devsadvocate says:

    I bought one the day Sandy Hook happened along with the LGS’s entire supply of magazines for it… I could’ve easily turned around and sold it for its weight in gold a week later (~$11k).

    I didn’t though because its so awesome.

  3. avatar ST says:

    A sign of things to come when Obama strong arms the Democrat controlled Senate into ratifying the UN Arms Trade treaty.

    1. avatar Armchair Command'oh says:

      You need 2/3s to ratify a treaty. They couldn’t get 60 votes for background checks. They’re not getting 67 votes for a treaty.

      1. avatar Ralph says:

        Google “Unratified Treaties and Other Unperfected Acts in International Law: Constitutional Functions” for a well-researched law review article on why you should be afraid of this treaty even if it is never ratified.

  4. avatar Emancipator144 says:

    New platform? Why not old? I’ll stick with my AR-180.

  5. avatar ensitue says:

    There’s always Kel-Tec, bull pup, a fraction of the price (if you can find one)

    1. avatar Lars says:

      lol You are joking right? A bullpup?

  6. avatar Ralph says:

    That final machining in Virginia, by the way, lets them skirt the 922(r) restrictions

    Actually, the final machining in Virginia lets them comply with 922(r). It seems to me that if the product is compliant, it’s not skirting anything.

    Everything isn’t a loophole. If it was, protecting oneself against an attack would be called the “self defense loophole.”

    1. avatar LongBeach says:

      I took a dump today, via the Cinnamon Ring loophole…

      1. avatar Rusty Puma says:

        LMAO!

      2. avatar BlinkyPete says:

        HAHAHAHA!

        Please note that I don’t write in all-caps all willy-nilly. That was warranted.

      3. avatar Patriot says:

        mmmmmmmm cinnamon rings…

        1. avatar Ralph says:

          Dude, I’m gonna gag.

  7. avatar Jeff says:

    I have to ask, honestly: is there really that much of a demand for the SCAR to begin with? It seems like its popularity died down at a steady pace in the last year or so.

    When I say “popularity,” I also mean specifically, people who would like to buy it but either couldn’t find it, or couldn’t/wouldn’t pay the asking price.

    I know you’re sponsored by FN and are very much into their product line, but the SCAR is not something I really hear people talk very much about in casual gun chat.

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      @Jeff, I’m not answering for Nick, but IMO the SCAR is a hell of a rifle.

      1. avatar Joke & Dagger says:

        Indeed a nice rifle. I use my new SCAR 17 for pool carry. Seen several sell in my LGS lately.

        1. avatar JW says:

          ” I use my new SCAR 17 for pool carry”

          Why does Martin Sheen in Apocalypse Now suddenly come to mind?….LMAO

    2. avatar BlinkyPete says:

      I disagree. In fact, it’s the only proprietary rifle released in the past 5 years that hasn’t dumped in value. The Sig 556 tanked, and the ACR has dipped, albiet far more gently. The Robinson Arms doesn’t really sell at $1,200. Even theFS2000 had trouble moving at more than $1,600. Note this is pre-shitstorm, but still.

      1. avatar Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

        (Incidentally, WTF 300BLK ACR barrel? Then again, not like I could find anything to feed that…)

        1. avatar BlinkyPete says:

          Hahahaha… I’ve having enough trouble keeping my .223/5.56 guns from starving.

    3. avatar Morris says:

      I think there is a steady demand, everything I see for sale sells and that says there is a demand to me.

    4. avatar Anon in CT says:

      I would have loved one. I suspect that show “Starts Earn Stripes”, as awful as it was, helped SCAR recognition.

  8. avatar Roll says:

    I’d go for a Scar in the .308 variant, I’m wanting the Tavor or the AUG A3 right now…leaning toward the Tavor.

    1. avatar Sixpack70 says:

      Id also love a scar in .308. I have my american rifleman with the Tavor on the cover. I’ve always liked the AUG but never thought about buying one. Then I watched MAC and that was it. I am saving up for one in FDR. My wife got a black sharpie and wrote NO! On the cover. She want’s shoes. I said I would rather be barefoot with a Tavor than have nice shoes and no Tavor.

      1. avatar Jeremy S. says:

        “My wife got a black sharpie and wrote NO! On the cover. ”

        LOL

        …I dunno… I was lucky enough to have a choice, and I went with the black TAVOR. FDE is too hip and stylish and black goes with any outfit 😉

  9. avatar Morris says:

    funny, I haven’t seen a shortage on them, I bought a Scar 17 New in box, 3 weeks ago on gun broker with no problem

    1. avatar Paul McCain says:

      And how much did you pay for it???

      I bet you didn’t get it for $2600, the pre-crazy price.

      Where’s the link to the purchase so we can see what you paid?

      1. avatar Morris says:

        I got it for $3300 NIB on Gun broker and it was FDE that runs a little more than black ones. Was it pre newton pricing no but it was pretty darn close and a far sight from the $4K they were going for during Newton. I have never ever seen a Scar 17 for $2600 and I have been watching them for some time and definitely not the FDE.

  10. avatar Skeev says:

    For awhile SCAR’s are all I had seen in the stores when all the other rifles were bought up. The high price tag was too much for the AR flippers, speculators and new gun owners trying to grab one while they could.

  11. avatar Rusty Puma says:

    Although I do understand the current political climate as (part of) the problem with supply, I must echo an annoyance at constantly seeing ads and reviews in magazines and on line for products that are unavailable. The firearm companies should either be able to supply what they are advertising in reasonble quantity or just STHU until they can.
    I wouldn’t even mind putting in special orders for the 3 guns I am currently seeking (with money down) and just wait, but I can’t even find a LGS that will do that (and there are a lot of shops in my area).

    1. avatar Robert Farago says:

      Ad budgets are decided and committed a long time in advance. Companies have allocated the money so they’ll spend it, calling it “brand maintenance” or something.

      1. avatar Rusty Puma says:

        I know. It’s still aggravating and un-American to have money to spend and a target acquisition in mind but no avenue of purchase. Reminds me of the old cold war stories about communist Russia.

        1. avatar Hank says:

          Where most of the shortages were Party Manufactured Shortages.

  12. avatar BlinkyPete says:

    I’ve been watching SCAR prices like a hawk for over a year now. I’ll splurge on a $500-$600 gun, but anything with a comma in the price I’ll bide my time (and pay cash, not a penny on the credit card) no matter how much I want it.

    I’ve never seen a new SCAR 16s trade at less than 2k. Last summer, when I was conveniently buying a house, I saw one or two drop for $2050, and planned to buy one for that amount next time I had the dough.

    Around November they were trading for $2,250 or so at the absolute minimum. I was lazy about it and figured “I don’t need it this second, time is one my side.”

    After the 14th they spiked to $2,500 and then climbed steadily after that. I saw them a touch over $4,000 (not including inflated ‘collectable’ models) but I’m not sure if any actually sold for that. I do know that they were selling for $3,400-3,600 all day long.

    In the past 50 days or so they’ve been dropping. On my GB watch list I can see them dipping from the prices above to dropping below $3,000 for the first time about a month ago. Four days ago one sold for $2,400.

    Light at the end of the tunnel indeed. 🙂

  13. avatar Jim says:

    This is what is extremely worrisome about the U.N.’s Small Arms Treaty. It is all about the importation and exportation of arms. Anti Proles will tell you that no one is coming for your guns. No, but just like the AWBs that was proposed and shot down, they are trying to make it impossible for future generation to enjoy this civil right.

    From what I understand, a lot of foreign companies put the finishing touches on their weapons in the United States, which is how they avoid a lot of the importation regulations. A lot of cult favorites in this country could be susceptible to blockage by bureaucrats grinding down the wheels of importation (Glock, Beretta, CZ, Mossberg, etc.).

    Nick (or anyone else familiar with this topic), do you know if customs holdups such as this one are S.O.P., or have any of the companies noticed an uptick in the custom delays since this administration has been in power?

    1. avatar Anon in CT says:

      Not to support the treaty BUT, if it really makes export impossible from parties to the treaty, then makers of the more pupular guns may actually have to invest in true US manufacturing facilities. The US civvie gun market is huge – there’s nothing like in anywhere else in the world. I don’t think the FHs, Berettas, HKs and others will want to give up on it.

  14. avatar YA says:

    just more fear mongering

  15. avatar JSIII says:

    SCAR 16 is not worth the money IMO. You can get a great piston gun for much less. The SCAR 17 is where its at, excellent rifle.

    1. avatar JW says:

      I disagree, politely, but firmly. I have one of each (17S and 16S) and love them both.

    2. avatar Paul McCain says:

      Totally agree…this is why I sold my 16 and kept my 17. Saw no point in the 16. Plus, I had to make room for my incoming TAVOR.

      🙂

  16. avatar ericcartman says:

    this is one reason why i dislike they NRA. during a republican pres. they DO NOTHING TO ROLL BACK GUN LAWS like 922. wtf. i know NRA is all local manufacures and they hate foreign competition. but its us who pay the dues. there needs to be effort to repeal gun laws.

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      there needs to be effort to repeal gun laws

      Absolutely. I’d love to see it and will work for it, but right now we’re just trying to hold back a massive tide of anti-Constitution legislation.

      Our time to go on the offensive will come, but it isn’t now.

      1. avatar BlinkyPete says:

        When you’re right you’re right.

      2. avatar Jeff the Griz says:

        Why should we continue to play defense, when we can play offence? The tide is slowly turning towards our favor in all but a few states, why stop at the line in the sand when we can storm the beach? I’m all for a huge push for “anti anti-gun” laws…

  17. avatar raincrow says:

    Buds Gun Shop.com has a Scar16 available for around $2650 now.

    1. avatar BlinkyPete says:

      Still a little rich for my blood. At this point it’s clear there won’t be an AWB any time soon, so it’s worth waiting until they’re back down to the low low price of a little less over two thousand dollars.

    2. avatar Paul McCain says:

      No, they do not.

  18. avatar Edward says:

    My local gun shop must be the odd duck in the lake, They’ve been sitting on a pair of SCAR-17’s for a few months now and just sold the last of five SCAR-16’s they’d had out on the rack.
    They sit right alongside the SIG’s, AR’s, and even the FS2000, Tavor’s, and the pair of Bushmaster ACR’s they’ve had for a couple months. Seems like some places have them but you have to go digging.

    1. avatar Peter Lance says:

      Holy God. Where is this heaven on earth?

  19. avatar GringoFusilero says:

    The real question is, why would you buy a SCAR-L? The Mk 17s are where it’s at.

    1. avatar BlinkyPete says:

      Umm… cuz we’re mere mortals?

    1. avatar tfunk says:

      Clyde Armory has some decent prices on Agency trade-in SCAR-H’s

    2. avatar Paul McCain says:

      Yes, that’s a good price, but…as you might have noticed…they do not have any in stock.

  20. avatar APBTFan says:

    ” the receivers actually start their life at the FNH manufacturing facility in Belgium. From there, they’re shipped over here, finding their way to Virginia for the finishing touches and final assembly.”

    I wonder if the same folks that snub Hi-Powers assembled in Portugal will feel the same about these SCARs.

  21. avatar Powers says:

    Got mine last summer and was thinking on a second one, but put it off. Now that prices have come down and they are showing up more often, I am not going to put it off again. My LGS has not raised prices on their firearms or ammunition (when they have it available). Just a matter of time and patience.

  22. avatar JFP says:

    Speaking of .308 SCARs, has anyone any info on the new SW M&P10?

  23. avatar Loïc says:

    If you depend on Belgium you are doomed.. (I’m Belgian)
    Even for Belgian seeing a Scar is some kind of a unicorn

  24. avatar Paul McCain says:

    I wonder if TTAG is ever going to post a corrected review of the SCAR 17. The “review” posted about it here some time ago was just downright goofy.

  25. avatar Saul Feldstein says:

    Another high priced .22, meh.

    1. avatar paul mccain says:

      The SCAR 17 is a 7.62 rifle

      1. avatar Saul Feldstein says:

        The SCAR 16 is a .223 Remington aka 5.56 aka .22 cal bullet.

        1. avatar PTM says:

          You have a lot to learn about ballistics
          if you actually think a .223 cartridge is comparable to .22LR.

  26. I’m an old stick-in the-mud & for thirty years my favoured 7.62 rifle has been the L1A1/FAL, preferably with an 18″ barrel.
    A couple of years ago, I was loaned a SCAR-H & despite my initial bias & scepticism, I found it to be ergonomically at least the equal of the FAL & definitely more accurate.
    If I have any criticism, it’s the magazine release, as I found it slower to use than the (admittedly modified) L1A1 mag. release, though this is because I’m VERY left handed.
    I’d have one in a shot.

  27. avatar Lars says:

    Many in stock here in WI. 2,600-3,200. Not too much of a demand for them.

  28. avatar White Trash Cracker says:

    Looking for scar 16s black Tombstone tactical has 10 for sale for 2375.00 free shipping . Well 9 I just bought one . I have a 17s that I’ve had for 2years now can’t wait on the 16 . Hope this helps someone.

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